Taylor Swift's Los Angeles show causes 'microearthquake' as fans shake SoFi Stadium

'Shake It Off' created the biggest concert tremor at Taylor Swift's Los Angeles show
Taylor Swift's Los Angeles show causes 'microearthquake' as fans shake, shake, shake it up. Picture: GettyTaylor Swift's Los Angeles show causes 'microearthquake' as fans shake, shake, shake it up. Picture: Getty
Taylor Swift's Los Angeles show causes 'microearthquake' as fans shake, shake, shake it up. Picture: Getty

Taylor Swift's fans in Los Angeles caused a 'concert tremor' so big, it registered a similar magnitude to 'microearthquakes', according to a recent research paper. The study - commissioned by the California Office of Emergency Services - revealed 'Shake It Off' created the biggest 'Swift Quake'.

Following reports of Earthquake-like activity at Taylor Swift's Seattle concert in July 2023, a scientific team was asked to measure the pop icon's show at California's SoFi Stadium on August 5. Led by Gabrielle Tepp of Caltech, the research team identified the seismic signature of each song to determine the strength of the tremors.

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Analysis of the seismic activity during each song performed showed that the 70,000 fans created the strongest tremor during Shake It Off, coming in at the largest local magnitude of 0.851. This was followed by You Belong With Me, Love Story, Cruel Summer and 22.

Speaking on the recent discovery, Ms Tepp said: "Keep in mind this energy was released over a few minutes compared to a second for an earthquake of that size. Based on the maximum strength of shaking, the strongest tremor was equivalent to a magnitude -2 earthquake.

"Earthquakes below magnitude 0 can be detected and are sometimes called "microearthquakes", Ms Tepp continued. "Last year, our regional seismic network in Southern California reported about 50 earthquakes with magnitudes below 0."

According to researches, it was likely the dancing and jumping motions of the audience at SoFi Stadium - not the musical beats or reverberations of the sound system - caused the concert’s distinct harmonic tremors.

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her Eras Tour at Sofi stadium in Inglewood, CaliforniaUS singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her Eras Tour at Sofi stadium in Inglewood, California
US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her Eras Tour at Sofi stadium in Inglewood, California
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Tepp’s colleagues were able to record the data by setting up strong motion sensors at SoFi Stadium. The team then collected the results via the devices, as well as accompanying data from nearby permanent regional seismic network stations.

Previous research shows that “concert tremor” can be recorded as long-duration signals with narrowband, harmonic frequency peaks between 1 and 10 hertz. This kind of low-frequency signal looks like the harmonic tremor recorded from natural sources like volcanoes and human sources like trains.

The full report ‘Shake to the Beat: Exploring the Seismic Signals and Stadium Response of Concerts and Music Fans’ is part of Seismological Research Letters and can be found at the Geo Science World website.

Swift recently wrapped up a six-night run of concerts at Singapore's National Stadium, following performances in Melbourne, Sydney and Tokyo. In May, she's set to resume her sold-out Era's Tour stint in Europe, which features a run of shows in UK and Ireland starting June 7.

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